I was visiting friends in Phoenix and had a wonderful meal at Sherpa Kitchen. I am told that the owner started with a food truck and only recently acquired this brick and mortar, tucked away in the back of a business plaza. You won’t miss it, as the Everest Momo truck is situated right outside. The restaurant is so new there’s not even a lick of decoration on the walls, but don’t let that deter you because the food is top-notch.
We started off with some appetizers. Taruwa ($8) a medley of fried vegetables traditionally eaten in southern Nepal. Cauliflower, onions, and okra are dipped in a chickpea flour batter and fried. The first thing we noticed was that the chickpea flour coating was extremely flavorful on its own. Add to that one of the three dipping sauces: tamarind, mint, spicy and you have a flavor explosion in your mouth.
Aaloo Achar ($4) caught my eye almost immediately. I grew up eating achar, a pickled vegetable medley, and was extremely interested to see this a part of this Nepalese potato salad. Aloo (potato) is mixed with achar and taking on the beautiful flavors of the pickled vegetables. You can taste the layers and complexity of this dish. While achar is not a difficult dish to make, it is extremely time-consuming which is why I don’t care to make it at home.
I’ve eaten Nepalese food on several continents and have always found it to be on the heavy side, reminiscent of Indian cuisine. That is not the case at Sherpa Kitchen. I have had momo (dumplings) at many restaurants but have never been too fond of it simply because the wrapper is always too thick overwhelming what should be delicate dumplings. This is not the case at Sherpa Kitchen. First, you can choose from five styles of momo. We picked Chili Momo ($14) pan-fried meat-filled dumplings tossed in a spicy chili sauce dotted with peppers and onions. These are the best momo I’ve ever had!
I wish the Chicken Tikka Masala Bowl ($14) had arrived before the momo. While the chicken tikka masala was delicious, it was rather subtle in flavor when compared with the chili momo. I believe we would’ve enjoyed it even more had we eaten it first.
Order some Garlic Naan ($4) to sop up all the sauce because you won’t want to leave any behind.
I would return to Sherpa Kitchen in a heartbeat. I look forward to my next trip to Phoenix so I can come back again.
1533 W Elliot Road
Gilbert, AZ 85233
Tel: (480) 687-1187